eCommerce marketers in 2023 need to offer an amazing end-to-end customer experience to drive sales, boost loyalty and encourage repeat business. However, that's only part of the picture, as any eCommerce marketing strategy also needs to take into account rising acquisition costs, ever-increasing competition, and tighter privacy regulations.
If your strategy isn't yielding the anticipated results, it's likely time you got to work revamping your approach, and analysis of these challenges highlights a defined path. By focusing on your owned channels - your website, SEO & email marketing - you can tip the balance in your favor.
That's not to say that paid marketing channels should be ignored, far from it. It's all about being smart about how you spend your time and budget.
1st-Party Data Is Important For Marketing Strategy
In the modern landscape where privacy regulations are altering the way 3rd party companies are able to collect and share data, first-party data is gaining importance. Furthermore, regulations are only going to increase with time, meaning it's more vital than ever to really get to know your customers.
Here we look at how to leverage your owned channels to drive long-term loyalty while offering a personalized customer experience that leads to meaningful results.
Search Engine Optimization
If you want to achieve organic growth from your eCommerce digital marketing strategy, basic website SEO is crucial. Optimized to load quickly and rank by demonstrating to Google that you're an authority in your field, you'll ensure that your website is replete with commonly searched keywords.
SEO is a big subject and one that requires considerable expertise. However, here are a few tips to ensure you have the foundations for growth in place:
- Ensure the website's images aren't too large, so the website loads more quickly
- Add helpful keyword-rich content to your product category pages
- Make sure all your metadata contains your top keywords
Essentially, this is the bare bones of what's possible with SEO, however, if these three aspects are addressed, you'll create a solid platform from which to build. With these basic elements in place, you can begin to leverage other areas, such as your product reviews.
Pro Tip: Adding product page reviews represents an often-overlooked way to enhance your website's SEO performance. Reviews like these appear in search results as Google Review Snippets, and the keyword-rich content you supply will serve to convince the popular search engine that you're an authoritative site.
Another option common to the best eCommerce marketing strategies is content marketing. Having long been the method of choice for B2B marketers, content marketing is once again beginning to gain traction for eCommerce operators. As such, it involves creating and distributing content to add value to your subscribers while increasing your customer retention rates.
The main objective of content marketing is to provide answers to the questions your ideal audience wants to ask. You need to offer these answers in a way that's perfectly suited to each touchpoint on the overall customer journey. Do things correctly, and you'll increase brand visibility and gain more leads. Yours may break down as follows:
Of course, you don't have to implement every type of content marketing shown above, as you'll simply choose the method that suits you and your marketing objectives.
Pro Tip: The first step of any content strategy is to have a clear understanding of who you're creating content for and the actions you want them to take after reading e.g. make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or become an email or SMS subscriber.
A major consideration of owned marketing is the requirement to get consent from potential customers to gather their data and begin sending communications. The best eCommerce marketing strategies are those that get savvy by moving their marketing to consensual channels like email marketing that allows you to build strong, long-lasting customer relationships.
Segmentation is a key part of email marketing, as you group subscribers based on purchase history, average order value, interests, and more and tailor the messaging accordingly. This allows you to create tiered levels that include VIP loyalty programs. VIP programs can be used to:
- Create exclusivity that drives interest
- Obtain direct customer feedback
- Advertise first-look opportunities
- Drive purchases (using redeemable loyalty points)
- Develop brand ambassadors
Your eCommerce marketing strategy can benefit from these VIP programs, as those that represent your brand's biggest advocates will be more receptive to new content. As such, when introducing new ideas, promotions, or products, you can roll them out to your VIP members first for an honest critique.
Pro Tip: Automated email flows offer a great way to provide a smooth customer experience, with triggered messages sent when actions are taken e.g. purchases, abandoned carts, etc.
Test, Test & Test Again!
While we've covered a number of owned channels and how to leverage each one, the truth is that what works for one business won't necessarily work for another. Before you jump in with both feet on each channel, it's wise to carry out controlled tests so you don't waste any of your marketing dollars.
Also, you should keep a close eye on your data, as brands sometimes scale too rapidly, meaning they don't pivot quickly when needed. Using segmentation and A/B testing, you can maintain a tight grip on what's working and what isn't.
Configuring Your eCommerce Marketing Strategy For Success
The best eCommerce marketing strategies take a lot of time and energy to perfect, but by leveraging your owned channels, you make use of the aspects you can control. Your website, SEO, and email marketing channels offer rich potential for increasing visibility and driving sales - it's just a matter of finding the right blend for your unique business requirements.
SEO, email marketing, and targeted content represent a major force when combined. So if your approach is at all flaky in any of these areas, your time would be best spent adding strength and structure or speaking to a full-service agency to squeeze more from these channels. Only then can you be sure that you're taking advantage of all potential marketing opportunities.